Football Manager Handheld 2015 Review

Football Manager Handheld 2015 Review

Dec 12, 2014

Football Manager Handheld 2015 is the latest in the slimed down series of FM games on mobile. While they share the name with their big brother the complexity is toned down greatly for Android. Does Football Manager 2015 buck this trend?

So what’s new in this retread of FM? Not much. The match engine has been ever so slightly tweaked to be a bit smoother and has some new fading effects. Highlights look a little better.

Screenshot_2014-12-08-21-50-23There is a new Scouting Agency option that shows the top 50 players of a certain type in the world. This is fairly usless if you’re managing a lower level team, as they will likely be too expensive.

And that’s it

While Football Manager Handheld 2015 is competent and a decent amount of fun, the real problem with it is that it has not evolved at all from FM2013 and 2014. This is almost exactly the same game and nearly zero features have been added over the last three years.

The player still cannot give team talks or talk to players. This makes it impossible to communicate with players, ask what’s wrong with them, warn them about poor performance or form relationships with them. This is utterly unacceptable and removes a huge chunk of the managerial side of the game, namely handling players. They feel far too much like automations.

Tactical options are as limited as anything. Players and teams cannot be given instructions such as to push further up, go Route One or to focus on retaining possession. Players cannot be given instructions outside of an exceedingly simple “role”. This kills a lot of the tactical side of FM.

This dearth of options makes matches little more than an annoyingly autonomous sequence where the player has little to no tactical involvement aside from setting a formation and putting together the team itself.

The press side of the game is still completely half baked. There are no interesting interviews or chances to comment on happenings and what news there is tends to be dreadfully repetitive and droll.

Screenshot_2014-12-08-21-48-37The poorly made interface is still exactly as annoying to use as it was two years before. Names and other items of interest are still never hotlinked to take you to a page about that person or item. You still need to jump through hoops to reach the relevant menu to check, for example, the stats of a player that you received an offer for or where a team sits in the league. It is clunky, slow and primitive compared to the PC version.

Football Manager Handheld 2015 looks just as mediocre as always. A dull spread sheet look is coupled with the now overly familiar sight of circles moving around on match days. At least the game has nice big text and contrasts well, which is good as plenty of reading is involved as with any management sim. Just like the last two years there is no sound whatsoever. There is no excuse for this.

Football Manger Handheld 2015 is a game that is difficult to recommend. While it’s just as interesting as always the shine has well and truly worn off of a game that stubbornly refuses to evolve as its desktop forefather does. With no big changes from last year and the same limited tactical options FM2015 is not worth a purchase.

Football Manager Handheld 2014 Review

Football Manager Handheld 2014 Review

Dec 2, 2013

Football Manager Handheld 2014 continues Football Manager’s sister series on mobile. Known for its newbie friendly gameplay and tactical depth, has SI improved on the formula?

For the uninitiated, Football Manager simulates the entire career of a football team manager. From hiring and firing players, training regimens and on the pitch tactics, Football Manager models everything right down to relationships with individual players. Football Manager Handheld is a cut down, but still deep version of the main PC game made for mobile devices.

FM2014 has a handful of new features. The two most useful ones is that now after matches a summary of the match with a few key points detailing strengths and weaknesses of the team’s performance is shown. During a match, real time stats showing possession and other important stats are shown as well. This is a real boon when working out where the squad’s weaknesses are.

Screenshot_2013-11-29-03-02-07Another major feature is the ability to create a while new club. Creating a club replaces an existing one from the league chosen. Every option, from the size of the stadium to training facilities can be tweaked and an entire new squad can be created.

Football Manager Handheld 2014 just doesn’t really change enough that it could be considered a different game from 2013 however. The few useful features added could have been easily patched into 2013 and the same problems that have plagued FM2013 remain. It lacks features compared to its big brother.

Amazingly, the player still can’t give team talks or have detailed chats with players If they are performing poorly your options are to reprimand them or drop them to the reserves. They can’t be threatened with the transfer list for poor performance and they can’t even give feedback on your decisions.

Just like the last two games, tactical options are embarrassingly limited. This makes it hard to respond to a string of bad form, as the player is limited in the way that they can interact with problem players or tweak tactics.

Screenshot_2013-11-30-06-59-17Still despite its problems, the old magic that is Football Manger is still there. There is still the fun of taking a team in the lowest leagues (go Vauxhall Motors!) and building them up to a top flight team. Of taking a team, tossing out most of the old, overpaid players (Chris Martindale I’m looking at you) and signing a bunch of promising youth, personally supervising their training and proceeding to dominate.

FM2014 packs a new interface, sporting a flat, colored look somewhat like iOS7. The new match engine that debuted on PC isn’t present here and the sound is just as non-existent as last year.

Football Manager Handheld 2014 is as fun as always and the new tweaks are very welcome. However FM Handheld has made no great strides in the three games on the platform. At least a few of the more complex elements from the PC version must make the journey to Android if SI is to keep the series going on mobile.